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Wallace and Gromit go easy on the Earth
It may not be surprising that Wallace and Gromit, the pair who founded a humane pest-control business in their first feature film, are helping the environment. But you might be surprised to learn how they’re doing it: with digital photography.
In the old days of stop-motion animation, the artists set up each frame by hand before taking a photo of the scene on 35mm film. At the end of each day all the photos (24 for each second of the movie) would have to be developed, put together with a background and synced up with voices before the animators could see what they had made. For the studio that makes Wallace and Gromit, Aardman Animations, this meant sending all the film on trucks to London from their studio in Bristol. A trip to London and back – that’s 240 miles every day! That’s a lot of petrol, and a lot of exhaust fumes released into the atmosphere.
But fortunately a mile-saving solution came along with digital production. Wallace and Gromit will be starring in a TV special called A Matter of Loaf and Death later in 2008 and it’s being shot with digital cameras and a software production package called Stop Motion Pro. When Aardman’s animators take photos of each frame, they’re able to see what their shots look like immediately, like you can with any digital camera. And having the right software lets them add sound and a background to each shot right there in the studio. There’s no need to send everything to London for processing every night. That makes things quicker for the animators, and it’s a lot easier on the Earth too.
So despite all the peril Wallace and Gromit will undoubtedly get into in A Matter of Loaf and Death, you can at least relax knowing the environment’s in less danger thanks to digital technology.
Image taken from timsnell's Flickr photostream.